Archive for April, 2012

On Fundamentalism and Intellectualism

April 25, 2012 4 comments

You may not have ever seen rural areas of the Middle East and Southwest Asia, but you’ve probably heard them described. I’ve had the pleasure of visiting fantastic cities in Jordan, such as Amman and Aqaba, as well as the experience of driving through Kabul, Afghanistan on one or two occasions. However, I have also experienced the rural areas that make up the space in between the aforementioned cities in Jordan and spent a few months in the desolation that dominates southern and western Afghanistan.

I wish I had some pictures to show of the rural areas, but in Jordan I saved my pictures for the many beautiful and interesting sites and places; and in Afghanistan, as soon as I saw Helmand Province I decided that this was a place I’d rather not remember (which sounds a bit more dramatic than it actually turned out for me).  The point is, it’s unlike anything I’ve seen anywhere else, to include the emptiness of driving across western Texas and the southwestern deserts in the United States.

In America, it’s fairly common to call the cultures that live in such places “backwards,” and to refer to the dwellings as “prehistoric,” or “from the stone age.”  “Biblical” fits better, I think. In fact, the 1977 movie “The Message,” which tells the story of the founding of Islam in the 7th century through the eyes of the Prophet Muhammad (without depicting his image of course) looks about like the villages I saw in Afghanistan. I’m not kidding. It’s easy to look at these places, at this culture and say, “Wow. Time, science, technological advancement… it all just stopped.”  But that wouldn’t be exactly true.

I want to tell a story as briefly as my wordy tendencies will allow of a partial history of Islam and the Arab culture. I’ll jump right to the key point here, being that from the time of its founding and rise to prominence up through the 13th century, the Arab culture and Muslim religion was a great bastion of knowledge, discovery, experimentation and advancement. We may all know that our number system is Arabic and that Algebra and Alphabet are derivations of Arabic words. (Though as the first recorded “hipster” act in history, Arabs ceased using their own numbers* after most of the world had adopted them.) Less known is the medical and biological advances made in the Arab world, along with a few neat inventions.

Yes, the Arab world was full of wealth and knowledge and a desire to continue to seek both. In fact, it was the teachings of the Islamic religion that guided its followers to be seekers of knowledge. This may very well have continued on unimpeded for quite some time, but in the 18th century (well after the “Arab golden age” had ended), someone came along determined to change all of that.

There’s a brand of Islam called Salafiism. It’s been around since the outset and is a very strict and literal interpretation of the faith. However, an offshoot called Wahhabiism (but don’t call them that, as they simply consider themselves Salafis) sprang up led by a man named Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab. The basic idea was that Islam should be purged of its “impurities and innovations.” In essence, this movement decreed that Muslims should live as the Prophet lived, and any advancements or alterations from that lifestyle were sacrilegious. Heavily funded and empowered out of Saudi Arabia, this form of Islam set up a system of schools and universities and quickly spread throughout the faith. And thus, a culture of knowledge, advancement, and discovery was slowly replaced by a culture that intentionally moved backwards; turning back the clock to the 7th century to experience the world as had their Prophet.

This post is not about Islam, Afghanistan and Wahabbis. This post is about my fear for America. It may sound like I’m using a “slippery slope” fallacy of logic here, but I am not suggesting that America will return to the dark ages.  However, I look across the dialogue of our political and social discourse and I can’t help but see some similarities. It is not a problem of religion. It is a problem of fundamentalism. It is a problem of insisting that others live within the framework of a moral and lifestyle code written centuries ago.

I see it from some Evangelical Christians, certainly, when issues such as birth control somehow resurface. The issue here is not just about who pays for birth control; it is that according to many, sex is for the intent of procreation, and any other form is sinful. But I see it, too, secularly in the frequent reflections on the founding fathers’ intent and a desire to turn back the clock to live in the society that these men had in mind.

The fundamentalist outlook on life, regardless of what it is to which you fundamentally adhere, seems to me to be one that is in direct opposition to progress of almost any kind. It is in direct opposition to discovery and to advancement. It is a request to either stop things as they are–before they get really bad–or to actually turn back the clock.

Must every issue from birth control to evolution to climate change to gay marriage first win a battle with the word of God before it can be accepted and advanced in society? Should a sacred book assembled at a council 1700 years ago be referenced for scientific opinions and each contemporary social policy? Or can we as a society find a way to separate our personal religious beliefs, faiths, or even secular historical idols from the topics and issues of the present day? I even read an article recently debating which economic principles Jesus and the Bible support.

It seems to me that it is possible to believe that the Bible is, in fact, the true word of God without also thinking that the word of God is intended to be used as any sort of science lesson or civics textbook. It also occurs to me that the Earthbound form of God, Jesus, spoke and taught in parables and therefore the word of God in the Bible could also be speaking in parables with no erosion of faith, but that’s a whole different blog post.

I support the freedom of people to make whatever faith decisions they choose. I acknowledge that personal faith does, in fact, play a role in decisions made by policy makers.  I even admit that in some circumstances, the separation of church and state overreaches, often to “protect” people from being offended while offending even more. (I also contend that in many instances, the separation of church and state is too weakly applied or poorly understood). However, I do not accept the rejection of new ideas and discoveries and ample evidence contrary to your belief based on the need to have a fundamentalist interpretation of that belief.

Let us not become a culture that ceases to focus on seeking knowledge and discovery in exchange for one that yearns to return to a time long since passed, closing our minds to new ideas. Let us look forward, and not back. And let our advancements be celebrated rather than politicized, religiocized and debated to no end. If not we risk a future in which other cultures view our own as the “backwards” one.  The slope may not be quite so slippery, but it is indeed a slope we risk falling down.


On Enemy Propaganda

April 19, 2012 Leave a comment

In case you haven’t heard, the L.A. Times uncovered new pictures of U.S. Soldiers posing with Afghan corpses and body parts. This is the latest in a group of stories that include the 5th Stryker Brigade, which was dubbed a “kill team” by some after killing civilians and posing with corpses. There was also the killing spree of 16 civilians in a village. And let’s not forget the video of Marines urinating on Taliban corpses. Most important of all, of course, there’s the Quran burning scandal (and yes, that’s an Al Jazeera opinion piece I just linked; give it a read if you don’t understand why I said the Quran burning was the most important).

I might have a somewhat unique perspective on these sorts of topics as my job in the Army was to disseminate information to counter enemy propaganda as well as to inform Afghans of the American intentions and bring them around to our side. That cliche about winning the hearts and minds? Yeah, that was my job. Clearly, we needed to do a better job of it, I know; and I’m not trying to make excuses, but it’s a difficult enough job to just counter the enemy. More and more, it seems we’re also battling the select few among ourselves that contribute to stories such as the ones above.

Despite the home field advantage enjoyed by the Taliban and its supporters, I was always a little embarrassed that we had such a difficult time with the information war. Given the edge in technology and experience, along with the fact that our major media outlets are unimaginably effective at setting the tone and topic of conversation for domestic audiences, I thought we could do better. However, when I realized that some members of the American military were routinely creating propaganda for the enemy that was just as strong, if not stronger, than anything the enemy themselves were creating, our struggles started to make some more sense.

You see, the best propaganda feeds into and reinforces previously-held worldviews and stereotypes. According to the extremist, militant, fundamentalist Islamic rhetoric, Americans are infidels–non-believers. Americans are not here to help, but to destroy the Muslim faith and their way of living. America is the devil, filled with vile, evil people. So when Americans do things like this… American troops who claim they are here to keep Afghans safe and promote the virtues of the newly formed government and to help build infrastructure and to make Afghan lives better by ridding them of the oppression of the Taliban… when American troops are responsible for the above-mentioned indiscretions, which storyline do you think Afghans will believe? We’re here to help? Probably not. Even if the vast majority of military personnel live the positive stories.

I’ve long believed that you can’t send people into war and not expect some mistakes or errors in judgment. I’ve always felt sympathetic to those who find themselves in hot water for a bad decision in the heat of the moment in combat.  If you haven’t seen the Rules of Engagement with Tommy Lee Jones and Samuel L. Jackson, give it a watch some time for a look at how gray the line can be. (I generally hate war movies; it’s a good one.)

But these acts of disrespect cross all of those lines and there is no excuse. These are not hair-splitting decisions made under fire. In acting this way, these American troops are quite literally advancing the enemy cause–creating enemy propaganda. It has the effect, though not the intent, of a low-level treason (if there is such thing as low-level treason).

In a war for control of a country or to crush a standing enemy Army, the Unites States military is incredibly effective. But the war in Afghanistan is now a war of securing and recruiting civilians to our cause; building the infrastructure of a nation to a functional level; promoting, securing and implementing a new government. Maybe the answer is that our nation shouldn’t take on that type of task. But that is superfluous right now to the reality that we are, in fact, involved in these activities.

As long as the United States military contains just enough of the bad apples to ruin our credibility with the Afghan people, those tasks will never be fully accomplished. In the mean time, the military will do what they can to train enough Afghans to keep some semblance of security after America heads for the door.  As soon as those Qurans went up in flames, the mission of winning hearts and minds went up in smoke with them. Now the mission is to minimize the damage before coming home. At some point, there is just too much enemy propaganda to ever be effectively countered (even with the truth); especially when rogue members of our military keep creating it for them.

On Gay Marriage

April 16, 2012 Leave a comment

I mentioned in a previous post that Maryland recently passed a bill making gay marriage legal effective January 1, 2013, but that the bill contained a provision that would likely result in the issue finding its way onto the November ballot as an initiative. I wanted to give that issue its own post. Most of my posts are pretty wordy and I’d like to think a bit intellectual.  This won’t be one of those posts.

When the bill originally passed, many of my friends and family expressed pride in their state for getting it done. I did not. Many people posted mocking articles about the future children of America being embarrassed at how long it took to pass gay marriage. Not me. Far from it. In fact, I’m ashamed of my state.

I’m ashamed that Maryland wasn’t the first state to legalize gay marriage. I’m ashamed that the first attempt (in 2011) failed.  I’m ashamed that in order to pass a bill, the option of a ballot initiative had to be included. I’m ashamed that my state, at least until January 1st, 2013, still discriminates openly. I don’t need to project my shame onto future generations looking back on this moment. I’m ashamed right now.

So in November, when Maryland passes the ballot initiative paving the way for legalized gay marriage, I won’t be proud. I’ll simply cease being so ashamed.

On Taxes and Theories

April 16, 2012 1 comment

There’s a popular theory about taxes and economic policy that has been so effectively espoused (primarily by Republicans) since the early 1980s that it has been accepted as fact to many in America. It’s a pretty simple theory: lower taxes equal higher growth; higher taxes equal slower growth.  It’s a pretty common sense theory.  It’s based on sound mathematics.  I’m an economics major, myself. I’ve personally done multiple calculus problems that indicate that higher taxes are bad and lower taxes are good.

However, those math problems are extremely limited, and their results are theory, not fact.  You see, in basic economics, incomplete models are used. Models that are based on a lot of assumptions about reality that rarely hold true. I’m not saying that economists are hacks. Heck, I’m spending thousands of dollars in order to become a bit of one, myself.  What I am saying, however, is that math problems give you models and theory. Observations give you evidence and facts.  And it doesn’t take a very thorough examination of the evidence to see that this theory is not even close to a universal truth.

Take a look at this chart for instance.

I’m sorry if you have to click on it or zoom in for clarity, but it’s pretty simple. The top line is the top tax rate at the time.  The bottom line is the economic growth in terms of GDP adjusted for inflation. The GDP data comes from the World Bank and the historic tax rates come from the Tax Policy Center.

What you’re looking for here is how changes in the tax rate–the top line–affect changes in the growth rate–the bottom line. Anything above zero on the lower line represents economic growth. You’ll see that in the 1960s, the tax rate was anywhere between 70 and 91%. That’s astromonically high, and yet throughout the 1960s, there was positive economic growth.  The 1970s are a bit trickier, as the energy crisis hit in the middle of the decade.  But aside from that, you’ll see that on either side of the energy crisis downturn, growth was positive and high, despite high tax rates.  The 1980s are interesting. The first round of massive tax cuts under President Ronald Reagan did indeed fuel a jump in economic growth.  The second round, in 1986, however, seemed to have the opposite impact, as they were followed almost immediately by an economic slowdown.  In the 1990s, the tax rate went up, and so did economic growth. And finally, in the 2000’s, tax rates were again lowered, and the economy did not experience growth.

Here’s a quick and easy breakdown by decade. Notice that despite MUCH higher taxes, the average annual growth rate was higher in the 1950s and 1960s than it has been since.

Of course, there are other factors at play than just tax rate. But it’s pretty clear that the cut-and-dry relationship of “high taxes: bad, low taxes: good” simply does not exist. My own theory is that the idea of lower taxes and higher growth applies at some levels and then reaches a point of diminishing returns (economists love diminishing returns). This just means that when the tax rate was very high, a drop in taxes did, in fact, spur growth.  However, as the rate was lower, you could achieve less growth via a cut–and it possibly could get to the point at which lowering taxes actually inhibits growth (this is because it leads to higher deficits, but I won’t get into all of that). This might explain why, in the 1960s and 1970s, tax cuts and tax hikes do indeed appear to match up with growth spikes or growth slow-downs, but after the 1980s, when the tax rate had already been lowered beyond its useful level, the correlation between tax rate and growth rate seems to evaporate.

I don’t want this to get too wonky or bore readers with charts and numbers like an old Ross Perot campaign video. But I do want to present this simple economic history as a counter to the prevailing belief in the aforementioned economic tax theory. While my data does not conclusively prove any specific relationship between tax rate and growth rate, it does conclusively disprove the rhetoric that economic growth will be slow or negative if tax rates are high and that lowering tax rates will automatically lead to greater economic growth.

I’m not suggesting that the tax rates should go back up to 70% or anything. But when a country is experiencing this amount of debt and deficit while collecting a historically low amount of tax revenue (as a percentage of GDP), I think it is worth putting out there that the benefits of lower taxes are not as advertised, and the detriments of higher taxes may be incorrect or exaggerated, as well.

So the next time you hear a Republican tell you that evolution is “just a theory,” make sure he or she knows that their party’s tax policy is just a theory, as well–and unlike evolution, the tax policy theory is defied by the facts rather than supported by them.

Categories: Politics Tags: , , , ,

On a Representative Democracy

April 15, 2012 3 comments

A gay marriage bill recently passed in my home state, Maryland. It has been signed into law, but won’t go into affect until January 1, 2013. It contained a provision which allowed it to be decided by a ballot initiative in November, 2012 if enough signatures are acquired, which is practically a foregone conclusion. If that takes place, it will be part of a trend on the issue, and in politics in general.  In New Jersey, Governor Chris Christie vetoed a gay marriage bill stating that he thinks it should be decided by the people as a ballot initiative. Most have heard of the famous Proposition 8 in California in which gay marriage was defeated as a ballot initiative.  A similar ballot initiative failed in Oregon.

But this post isn’t about gay marriage.  This post is about elected officials shirking their responsibility and/or failing to understand what they were elected to do. More and more frequently, opinion polls are cited as a reason for voting a specific way on an issue.  More and more frequently, legislators are calling for ballot initiatives on tough issues to leave it up to the people. It all sounds very Democratic, doesn’t it?  Government for the people, by the people… so let the people decide.

Except that’s not how our government is supposed to work, and frankly, it’s not what I want from my government. The notion of a representative democracy speaks to the fact that, try as we might, we the people cannot be experts on everything. We are all entitled to our opinions, yes, but should policy be decided based on opinions or based on the best available research and information on the issue?

Americans have busy and often complicated lives. Effective policy is often incredibly complex and difficult to construct. While opinions and common sense may abound, more advanced expertise and a greater depth of knowledge are often required–expertise and knowledge that the common working American has no time and often little interest in acquiring. Many people want to elect “the common man.” I get the appeal. I want someone who is connected with my point of view and my way of life.  However, I want my representatives to be smarter than I am. I want my representative to spend less time politicking and more time taking each issue on the docket and researching the best course of action from the brightest minds in the field.

In essence, this boils down to legislators covering for themselves. A ballot initiative relieves them of responsibility if the results do not work out. A ballot initiative allows a representative to sound as if he is democratically fighting for his constituents without having to take a stand on an issue or put his or herself on record. Calling for a ballot initiative is some combination of lazy, irresponsible and cowardly.

I’m a firm believer that if you simply follow the crowds, the results you get will underwhelm.  In an effort to please the masses, Congress has earned a single-digit approval rating. I’m a Packers fan, so I followed closely as the general manager, Ted Thompson, made the decision to move on from Brett Favre to Aaron Rodgers as the team’s quarterback. An opinion poll from the fans would have easily led to Thompson retaining Favre and moving forward with him. Thompson’s popularity sank. He was one of the most hated men in Wisconsin.  However, Ted Thompson did not follow the masses. Ted Thomspon showed that he is a leader with a firm handle on what is best for the team. He had more information than the public and more expertise, and he used it to make what he felt was the best decision for the team. Thompson’s decision paid off, as Aaron Rodgers has led the team to a Super Bowl victory and is the reigning NFL Most Valuable Player. Thompson now enjoys quite a high popularity rating, because he went against the common perception and made the best choice for the organization despite the desires of the fans.

This is what I expect from my governmental leaders. I expect them not to follow the masses in opinion polls. I expect them not to defer to a ballot initiative.  I expect them to do their jobs: to dedicate themselves to a level of expertise on the issues that common Americans can rarely afford to achieve–not because they are incapable, but because they have their own areas of expertise on which to focus: primarily, their own jobs and lives. I expect governmental leaders to make the hard choice and do what is right or best for the country instead of what is easiest or most popular. The ideal of democracy and of “we the people” has caused our standards for our elected officials to fall. We accept followership because it sounds democratic. But I want leadership, and I hope that I live to see the day when we as voters and legislators remember that. The best option is rarely the most popular. Ballot initiatives and opinion polls show weakness, not ideals.

If you make a tough, unpopular decision that turns out to save the day, a la Aaron Rodgers, then popularity, credit and re-election are likely results.  If you are a follower in a leadership position and try to frame everything through opinion polls, the will of the masses and what will lead to re-elections, you get what we have now: a terribly unpopular Congress, a deserved lack of respect for government and an anti-incumbent sentiment. So legislators: stop trying to please everyone and do the job we hired you to do. If we could do it ourselves, we wouldn’t even need to elect anyone in the first place.

On “Working” and Being Out of Touch

April 15, 2012 1 comment

Perhaps surprisingly, this post has nothing to do with the recent spat between President Obama and Mitt Romney in regards to which of them is more out of touch. And it has nothing to do with the recent dust-up between a Democratic strategist and Ann Romney about women in the work place or being “just a housewife.”  It has to do with a musical I saw at the Keegan Theater in D.C. this weekend called “Working,” and how it made me feel.  “Working” is based on a book of the same title by Studs Terkel in which the author roamed the country talking to working people about their jobs and how they felt about their jobs.  It’s updated every now and then to paint a more current picture of the American worker from all walks of life in all types of jobs.

Now, I have worked a variety of jobs. I’ve worked in several offices as a temp; I’ve worked in the kitchen for an office building’s cafeteria; I’ve waited tables; I briefly drove the Meow Mix Mobile; I sold knives; I sold gym memberships; I enlisted in the Army; I’ve been unemployed.  I have had a prolonged negative account balance; I’ve budgeted such that I had $0.47 of wiggle room in consecutive months; and I’ve experienced having a comfortable balance in my checking, savings and retirement accounts.  I felt that I had experienced a good portion of the country, having grown up in Annapolis, Maryland and lived as an adult in Los Angeles, CA; New York, NY; Athens, GA; and Fayetteville, NC.

Despite all of that, “Working” was a wake-up call. I looked past the fact that music and dancing had been added to the stories that were being told and realized that this wasn’t just a script. This wasn’t “based” on the truth. These stories were people’s lives. A common theme throughout the various career paths or jobs was the feeling that there really wasn’t much of a choice.  This theme shows itself during a musical number that aptly repeats that “for now, I do what no one else is willing to do.” Whether it be an unfortunate life circumstance that derailed their dreams or whether it stemmed from a lack of dreams in the first place, workers outlined the lives they lived that led them to the jobs they chose–or, as it seems, didn’t choose. The jobs that seemed to choose them.

Some of the jobs covered are mill workers, brick-layers, customer support, food service, firemen, teachers and stay-at-home mothers, among others. Throughout, the workers show a sense of pride in what they do, despite often being overlooked or looked-down upon. One song speaks to the ability to point to a building or a road or a house and to say “I helped build that,” no matter the size of the contribution. These workers are right to take pride in what they do. They should not be ashamed or let people look down upon them. They are the backbone of our economy and our society. However, despite that sense of pride, there was an underlying sense of frustration, of limited options, of a low ceiling… of misery.

The whole thing made something occur to me: no matter how much I try to expose myself to various situations and how badly I try to expand my horizons, I can never walk in everyone’s shoes. What’s more, is that I will never be able to comprehend what it means to grow up with some combination of predetermination and hopelessness about my future. But most striking to me was the realization that the country and the economy actually needs and relies on people feeling such things.  We all actually NEED people to decide that they have no better option than to do some difficult job that is powered to some extent on the misery of the employees. We are all better off because so many Americans were too hopeless or too downtrodden or too indoctrinated or maybe just too practical to hope for any more from their lives.

When Rick Santorum grossly mischaracterized President Obama’s remarks about college and called him a snob (the two men actually have remarkably similar statements on the topic), I got to thinking about how insane it is to have such a negative impression of college education. When I read around the same time that college educated Americans had reached a record high at 30.4%, I was struck by how low that number sounded.  However, these thoughts come from an east coast point of view having grown up with probably 20 institutions of higher education within a 50-mile radius of my house, with two college-educated parents, and with a wealth of professional career choices abounding within my sight. For much of the country, however, these things may never present themselves as an option, or a path toward those options may be too elusive. This isn’t an excuse for anti-intellectualism, which I still find astoundingly destructive to our society. But it does paint some context behind the words and choices of so many Americans which I previously had failed to fully consider.

I’ve never felt so out of touch with America in my life as I did watching “Working.” And if anything can prove that to be true, it is the fact that I think that I gained a clearer understanding of the American worker by watching a musical in Washington, D.C. Talk about out of touch.

On News Media

April 14, 2012 Leave a comment

I haven’t written anything in about a week, but it hasn’t been for lack of trying. It’s not that I haven’t had time or that I’ve been distracted.  It’s simply that every time I sit down to write, be it about the Trayvon Martin case, the “war on women” or even the monthly jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, it turned into a discussion of how the media was treating each story.  And when I tried to write about the news media, it turned out  that I dislike so many aspects of it that I had trouble organizing/keeping brief my thoughts. And while I have many other interests and points of view that I would like to share, I’ve been preoccupied with trying to figure out how to even start my discussion of the media without rambling down a long road of circumstantial critiques.

So I’ll start with this: if you as a reader, viewer or listener find that the source from which you get your news always agrees with you, that source is biased. I’m sorry to break it to you, but it’s not that you’re just SO smart. It’s not that your points of view are all just SO correct. It’s that your news source is biased.

It seems that most news media outlets have done away with the old adage of reporting facts and letting viewers decide.  The front page and the editorial section have merged. Everything is an editorial, now. Opinions, when not blatantly stated, are hidden in the facts or the stories that have been selected to be reported, or in the subtle word choice used while reporting.  And before anything can be said about the news you read, listen to or watch, this first must be acknowledged.

A secondary element to this discussion is the ridiculous notion that is pushed by the right about the liberal bias of the “mainstream media.” Now, I have already stated that most news sources show a bias. Some stronger than others.  Some are actually completely factual but because those facts fly in the face of one ideology or another, those facts are considered biased.  However, it is patently absurd for the number one cable news network in the country according to Nielsen ratings (Fox News), along with  two of the top listened-to radio programs in the country (Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity) NOT to consider themselves mainstream media.

It is just as absurd for those same mainstream media outlets to claim any lack of bias.  I am not writing this as a hit job on Fox News, though I might argue that they deserve it, but I watch a lot of Fox News and once upon a time (three years ago or so) I listened to Rush Limbaugh frequently. It does not take a media expert or any kind of expert to identify the biases present in both.

Personally, I like my news to come at me in the form of a debate or a conversation.  Because this is so difficult to achieve, I find that the best alternative I can recommend is to flip back and forth between CNN, Fox News and MSNBC depending on the story being reported. Check different websites for their editorials on the hot-button issue of the day. Try something other than NPR to get your radio news… no wait, don’t do that. I love NPR.

The point is that if you only watch news that reaffirms what you already feel, you will never learn anything about the changing world and the issues that face it. In order to open your mind to all possible outcomes to a particular event, consumers of the news will have to diversify inputs on their own, to make up for the fact that news outlets themselves have ceased to diversify their outputs.

While I could go on for pages about my issues with the media, those are going to be conversations for another day. I think this is a good starting point. Let’s simply acknowledge that most news comes with a bias or opinion built in, and that Fox News and other conservative-leaning news sources are completely mainstream and have no room to boast of some sort of moral high ground against any liberal-leaning outlets.

Categories: Politics Tags: , , , ,